IU Health to require all employees to get COVID-19 vaccination

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In a change of policy, Indiana University Health said Tuesday it will require doctors, nurses and other team members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 1.

The health system issued a short statement that vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect patients and help reduce the spread of the virus.

IU Health, the state’s largest hospital system, said just a few weeks ago that it was only recommending, not requiring, that employees get vaccinated. At the time, it said the system was continuing to review the policy.

“The decision to require a vaccination is complex,” an IU Health spokesman said at the time.

The new vaccination requirement will affect more than 3,000 doctors and 31,585 other employees, from administrators and billing clerks to therapists and nurses’ aides, who work in IU Health’s 15 hospitals and dozens of outpatient clinics.

In the past, IU Health has not hesitated to fire employees for refusing a health requirement. In 2013, the hospital system fired eight employees, including three nurses, for refusing to get a flu vaccination.

On Tuesday, IU Health said it has required the flu vaccine since 2012, along with several other vaccines as a condition of employment.

IU Health added that it will allow team members to apply for a deferral or exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine based on medical or religious reasons. Applications will be reviewed and granted on an individual basis.

Around the U.S., a growing number of hospitals are requiring employees to get vaccinated, including Houston Methodist and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

A poll conducted by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation earlier this spring found that 58% of employed health care workers said they would support a vaccine mandate for employees who work with patients. Forty-two percent said they would oppose such a requirement.

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5 thoughts on “IU Health to require all employees to get COVID-19 vaccination

  1. No major religion has explicit, doctrinal objections to vaccinations. Only two religious groups ― Christian Scientists and the Dutch Reformed Church ― have demonstrated a precedent of widely rejecting vaccinations, but even these are not explicitly laid out in their doctrine. Most major religions hold that people have a moral responsibility to maintain their health ― including getting vaccinated.

    1. Agree. I cringe every time I hear or read somebody say it’s against their religion to get vaccinated. Dumb….

  2. I cringe every time I hear some say that it is mandatory to participate in a vaccination drug trial.

    The Moderna COVID‑19 Vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA, under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) for use in individuals 18 years of age and older. There is no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID‑19.

    The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for use in individuals 12 years of age and older. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of the medical product under Section 564(b)(1) of the FD&C Act unless the declaration is terminated or authorization revoked sooner.

    1. Steve, these are not drug trials. And, in any event, both are on the edge of getting full authorization.

    2. So the nurse who told me she did not plan to get the vaccine, because of “her own” research, even though she works all day every day with cancer patients who are immunocompromised and at the gravest level of risk of bad outcomes, she should just be able to freely be around and up close with these patients, touching them, sharing the air in the tiny treatment room?

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